Max Greevey

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Max Greevey
Law & Order character
First appearance "Prescription for Death"
Last appearance "Confession"
Portrayed by George Dzundza
Time on show 1990–1991
Seasons 1, 2
Credited appearances 22 episodes (total)
Succeeded by Phil Cerreta
Partner Donald Cragen
Mike Logan

Maxwell Greevey is a fictional character played by George Dzundza on NBC's long running police procedural and legal drama television series Law & Order. Following Dzundza's departure from the cast at the end of the first season, Greevey was written off the series with his death in the second season premiere.

In Law & Order[edit]

Greevey is a homicide detective working in Manhattan's 27th Detective Squad. He began his career in the 1960s, partnered with Don Cragen (Dann Florek).[1] By the beginning of the series, he is promoted to sergeant and partnered with Mike Logan (Chris Noth), with Cragen as their captain. He is very close to Logan, even while having authority over him, and provides his younger partner advice and someone in whom to confide.

Greevey is happily married to his wife Marie, with whom he has three children. A conservative Irish Catholic, he sometimes looks down upon people, even murder victims, whose lifestyles conflict with his beliefs. For example, his opposition to abortion makes him uncomfortable investigating the bombing of a family planning clinic, which causes some friction with Logan, who is pro-choice.[2] However, he seems at least tolerant of adultery, noting that while he himself has never cheated on his wife, "I don't judge. You can never know someone else's story."[3]

Greevey also harbors an open distrust of doctors, which began after a doctor incorrectly diagnosed him with an inoperable brain tumor. After seeking a second opinion, he learned that it was actually a subdural hematoma, and recovered shortly thereafter.[4]

Greevey carries a Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver as his duty weapon. He draws it several times during the series, but never fires it.

Greevey's partner prior to Logan was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop.[5]


Dzundza was disappointed when he realized that Law & Order would be more of an ensemble show rather than a show starring him. Though the cast liked his portrayal of Greevey, they increasingly felt uncomfortable around Dzundza, who was also under stress from the constant commute between New York City and his home in Los Angeles. Dzundza quit after the first season of the show,[6] making his last full appearance in the season finale, "The Blue Wall". In the opening scene of the second season premiere, "Confession", Greevey (played in the scene by an uncredited stunt double) is shot and killed by a hit man working for a crime syndicate he is investigating. He is succeeded by Sgt. Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino).[7]

Greevey is the first detective within the Law & Order franchise to have been killed in the line of duty.

Along with Nina Cassady, he is the second shortest serving detective in the series after Nick Falco.

Connection to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[edit]

Greevey is mentioned in a 2001 episode of the spinoff series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[8] Prior to his death, Greevey and Cragen had worked on a case involving the murder of a college student named Jennifer Talmadge, and the disappearance of her infant son, Stephen. He took the case very seriously, working on it on his off time. After Greevey's death, Cragen took the case over and kept in touch with her parents. In the episode, Cragen, by now the head of the sex crimes unit, finds Stephen Talmadge while investigating a corrupt adoption agency. Cragen and his detectives later determine that the wife of Stephen's biological father killed Jennifer Talmadge and gave Stephen to the adoption agency. In the end, Stephen's biological father wins custody of him.


  1. ^ "Everybody's Favorite Bagman". Law & Order. Season 1. Episode 6. September 30, 1990. NBC. 
  2. ^ "Life Choice". Law & Order. Season 1. Episode 12. January 8, 1991. NBC. 
  3. ^ "By Hooker, By Crook". Law & Order. Season 1. Episode 7. November 13, 1990. NBC. 
  4. ^ "Prescription for Death". Law & Order. Season 1. Episode 1. September 13, 1990. NBC. 
  5. ^ "A Death in the Family". Law & Order. Season 1. Episode 15. January 30, 1991. NBC. 
  6. ^ Courrier, Kevin; Green, Susan (November 22, 1999). Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: Renaissance Books. p. 111. ISBN 1-58063-108-8. 
  7. ^ "Confession". Law & Order. Season 2. Episode 1. September 17, 1991. NBC. 
  8. ^ "Stolen". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Season 3. Episode 3. October 12, 2001. NBC.